Composites & Joining


I had a hard time with composites. Not so much the process but with figuring out what to produce. None of my thoughts on making a light worked as well as I'd hoped.


Third Try - Computer Model

Here are the results for trying to create a translucent bowl out of the wooden mold. It is more flexible than I'd like and also not particularly translucent.


P1180806 P1180805


I used a wooden mold created for a previous course using Digital Project. My partner and I were trying to cast paper or ceramics into the mold to create a bowl. Neither worked well because of the steepness of the draft angles.


Bowl Paper


I mixed Smooth Cast 327 with translucent paper to try to create a paper bowl then attempted to vacuum form the mixture onto the mold - from the looks of it the resin went everywhere and the mold probably can't be reused.


Vacuum Bag Composite Vacuum Bag Composite


Second Try - Balloons


The balloons were not as interesting as I'd hoped. They were also not particularly translucent. The canvas wrapped one was rock hard but also very opaque. The single layer of stretch fabric also became very hard and was more translucent - but note enough for the LED I had to shine through. Perhaps the most interesting thing to happen was the MIT seal transfered from the outside of the balloon to the interior of the composited fabric.


P1180804 P1180801
P1180798 P1180799


First Try - Pitcher + Balloons


I had two goals for the projects I started: make a fabric pitcher hold water and make a light out of a balloon covered in composited fabric. The fabric pitcher is a continuation of the work I've done with fabrics and ceramics. My CAD/CAM partner Marshall Prado and I used fabric to patch or fix broken porcelain molds. We dipped fabric into porcelain slip and covered the holes made in the mugs while they were being fired. Once these were fired again the fabric burnt away to leave a porcelain trace.


Fired Fabric Burnt Off Fired Fabric Burnt Off
This May Be Goodbye... Fired Fabric Burnt Off


I'm hoping that I can create a similar effect using a single sheet of translucent fabric and the Smooth Cast 327 to create a fabric pitcher capable of holding water. I have no idea if you could actually drink the water, I'll have to carefully check out the MSDS.


Drying Frozen Folds


The second project I wanted to do was a light made over a balloon (in this an MIT balloon from the COOP). Once hardened I want to pop the balloon and create a space for a hanging light.


Lamp Light Balloon


This is how the first round of attempts ended. First mistake - aluminum makes a terrible release agent. Second - the balloon stuck to the bucket and had to be popped to get it out. Third - the material I tried to make the pitcher out of was actually a blotter material - it got hard, but stuck to the tube I used as a mold